The Crush Letter No 41: DEVOUR

. 14 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about friendship, love and sex in midlife. Because honestly, you're hotter than ever. Especially you, Samantha (Kim Cattrall).  Sometimes not going to the party was the right choice.  Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

Well, whew!  So much going on.  The holidays, on the one hand, and all the incredibly shit-bad news out there, on the other.  Who can sleep?  Not me.  My cbd sleep gummies are not strong enough for this.  But we are trying to be a "shit-bad news free zone"!  An escape from all that.  A fun place.  Some days it feels ridiculous to just blow by all the shit happening in the world (as if we weren't losing sleep over it).  But we are, dear CRUSH Readers, ignoring it all for a moment.  Creating space (as the milennials say) for a romp.

It is one of my favorite times of the month.  Our DEVOUR issue, where we share the things we love that we think you will, too.  Shout out to Devour's Contributing Editor, Lisa Ellex, as always.

And if you were a Sex and the City fan, let me be honest.  We did not love the first  two episodes of And Just Like That, so we are not spending a lot of time on it in here (DEVOUR is about recommending things we l.o.v.e.).  But if you scroll down to the bottom, I've got a few strong opinions in And Just Like That, A Lot of Women In Their Sixties Just Up and Moved to London.

If you're new here (welcome!), I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies. For more about me and why we're here go here.

DEVOUR {things to do, read, see & have}  

Watch.  All Our Hopes for a Twisted Gerri/Roman Romp Were Dashed on Succession.  Spoiler alert. Roman's misdirected dick pick may have ruined Gerri's career.  And his, but really who thought his was serious?  It also ruined our chances of seeing the two of them physically entangled.  We're still recovering.

Read/Buy Someone This As A Gift.  Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli: The Epic Story of the Making of the Godfather by Mark Seal.  Godfather-philes will go gaga over this behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Godfather as we near the 50th anniversary of its March 1972 release.

Author Mark Seal reveals in-depth conversations with director Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino, James Caan, Talia Shire, and others. Read why producer Al Ruddy’s car was riddled with bullets and which real-life mob members vied to make on-screen appearances (everybody wants to be in show business!).  More importantly, you’ll learn just how the masterpiece was made. Read here

Read/Buy Someone This As A Gift.  Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll. By Lenny Kaye. I can’t think of anyone better suited to pen this than musician, music historian, and author Lenny Kaye.  From the streets of Memphis, Philly, Liverpool, Detroit, New York, London, Seattle, and more, Kaye shares his inside view on the music of rock and roll and chronicles its life through the twentieth century.  Says his lifelong bandmate, Patti Smith, “We have performed side-by-side on the global stage through half a century…. In Lightning Striking, Lenny Kaye has illuminated ten facets of the jewel called rock and roll from a uniquely personal and knowledgeable perspective.” Read here

Read. An Exploration of A Life’s Journey, Gratitude by Oliver Sacks (2015) From one of the greatest thinkers and writers on the neuroscience of our century, and the man who brought us The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Awakenings, and my favorite, Musicophilia, comes Gratitude.  A collection of four essays published during the last few months of his life, Sacks further explores his feelings on his own life’s journey as well as coming to terms with his death and the freedom of being 80-years-old.  As in all of his work, Dr. Sacks writes with humor, compassion, pathos, and deep insight. Read here

Follow.  Jean Smith, The Painter Art Collectors and Non-Collectors Alike Are Clamoring Over. Smith’s ultimate goal is to purchase the property where she can build the “Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change”.  To that end, she posts daily on Facebook for a chance to make a $100 purchase of one of her sought-after paintings of female faces.  Smith also has a waitlist for collectors interested in purchasing three or more larger pieces for $600 each.  The NY Times covered the Canadian phenom in this January 2021 piece. Read more here

Jean Smith
P A I N T I N G S

Follow. “My Cheap Italian Dream Home” on Instagram. If you’re like me, you’ve spent the last year swimming in the ultimate fantasy of purchasing that Italian vacation/relocation home. Well, this could be the answer to all your novenas. Every day, MCIDH posts a different listing with price tags under $100,000 US.  Maybe we can be neighbors. Come over for a negroni. Follow here

Listen.  Take A Deep Listen Into This Year's 100 Best Songs As Selected by Matthew Schnipper.   Schnipper sends an hourlong music mix to his subscribers on Mondays and Thursdays.  He started something over a decade ago, he wrote in a twitter thread, when he started publishing a column called Slept On.  "The idea was to highlight music that was getting ignored by mainstream or indie mainstream ... I hoped to simultaneously offer grand ideas and the minutiae of my life as a way of showing how music can affect you if you let it ... I tried to keep the idea that the underground should mingle with the mainstream ..."  In other words, Schnipper spends an awful lot of time thinking about and sharing music.  And he has just published his annual Best Song of the Year, featuring artists and songs you know and ones you've never heard of.  Special stuff.

Deep Voices: The 100 Best Songs of 2021
A semi-brief history of a year in music

Listen.  Christmas Party with Eddie G.  King of Comedy (Two and a Half Men, Dharma & Greg, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Big Bang Theory, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman) and record collector Eddie Gorodetsky first pulled together a collection of Christmas music to give as gifts (I’m happy to say I have the first ones on cassette tape!) and has now made them available for public enjoyment.  Christmas Party with Eddie G. is not your typical Christmas fare. Eddie G. has unearthed the unexpected such as “Donde Esta Santa Claus” (Latin kiddie rock), “Cool Yule” (hepcat beat poetry), and “Santa’s Gonna Shut ‘Em Down” (sur punk) for your listening pleasure.  Put this on your list of “What To Get For the Friend Who Has Everything.” Listen here

Listen.  After grooving to the wild picks of Eddie Gorodetsky, switch things up with Ultimate Jazz Christmas, a gorgeous collection of tunes from jazz greats like Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Nancy Wilson, Eliane Elias, Diane Reeves, Donald Byrd, and more. You may want to hit the repeat button on the Thad Jones classic recording of “A Child Is Born”. Listen here

Watch. If music is your mistress then the 2016 HBO series, Vinyl, is a must-see. Produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, the series that launched with a 2-hour feature-length pilot was canceled after its 10-episode first season. The plot centers around the inner workings of the fictitious record company American Century.  And what could be hotter than New York City in 1973? -- the cocaine-crazed record company owner Richie Finestra, that’s who!  Played by the oh-so-delicious Bobby Cannavale who is joined by Ray Romano in the role of his partner Zak Yankovich, the relationship between these two central characters is well-written.  Each one-hour episode is laced with some of the best music, fashion (and s-e-x) the ‘60s and ‘70s has to offer.  Do keep an eye out for Mick's son, James Jagger, who portrays the company’s first punk rock find.

2016 HBO series, Vinyl 

Read.  Do You Have A Jeff Goldblum Thing?  You’ll want to read this article from Airmail "Read here

Photo Credit: Airmail

Watch. Yes, You Should Go See House of Gucci.  Did critics pan it?  Yes. Richard Brody did the most thorough job in the New Yorker , unsurprisingly. “The movie’s essential hollowness is all the more dismaying for its absurdly glorious moments of pop-iconic grandeur—most of them sharpened by Gaga’s screen-commanding gestures.”  Too long, too shallow, no heart or central story.  I wouldn’t argue with any of those, yet I thoroughly loved every single over-the-top minute of it.  So I sit with Vulture: “House of Gucci Isn’t a Good Movie, But It’s Definitely a Good Time.”

Listen.  Coming out for Christmas.  NPR’s 3-minute listen.  DC Comics has recognized its diverse readership and recently introduced its third character to make queer contact.  Jonathan, the baby boy of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, is living out loud in bisexual bliss.  Now 17-years-old with superpowers of his own, he joins the world of Batman and Aquaman with characters keeping it real in our brave, new world. Listen here

Photo: HBO Max

And Just Like That, A Lot of Women In Their Sixties Just Up and Move to London.  We here at PrimeCrush were not overwhelming fans of a Sex and the City reboot when it was announced - see the story And I Wondered ... Do We Really Need a SATC Reboot? from Letter No 9 below, not to mention the results of our Reader poll here on who would be watching the Reboot (2/3 of us voted "I'm sorry I can't. Don't hate me.").  But as the author of a newsletter on midlife love and friendship, I considered it my job to watch the first two episodes.  

SPOILER ALERT:  The reboot was not well-written, smart or particularly funny so we won't be spending a lot of time on it here in our DEVOUR issue except to say that I, Dish, am decidedly "team Samantha."  In case you have been watching the epic Houe of Gucci movie since yesterday (it's long), the loyal, big-hearted, intrepid, sex-positive entrepreneur (she ran her own PR firm) is living in London.  Where (I'd guess) a lot of women of a certain age will consider going, now that we have all learned that "sexy sirens in their sixties are still viable there".  (F*ck all the implications there and more to come there from us and others, for sure.)

Specifically, on Samantha I posted a comment in a thread on Vulture's coverage:

" ... We are to believe that Carrie, who earlier needed to borrow $40k from a girlfriend to buy her apartment because she had spent all of her money on shoes and who is now quite wealthy (most plausibly as a result of her marriage to Big) ... has lost the loyal, financially successful friend Samantha (whose firm was successful based on having a whole host of big clients) because Carrie, one client, a writer, didn't need her public relations services?  Samantha was the opposite of petty:  she was big-hearted and loyal.  It is not just a preposterous story line that disrespects the characters' histories, but also a tired and disturbing trope on women's financial independence and friendships.  Ironically, the latter is the theme that we all celebrated in SATC.  And it makes us wonder: why would the show's producers/writers risk the integrity of the show (and its most importan theme) to extend a grauitous diss on Samantha/Cattrall?"

On Miranda (poor Miranda - who may have both a drinking problem and a sexless marriage):

"[The scenes of] Miranda [being so out-of-touch] were surprising, and not consistent with a show whose characters and stories literally moved the cultural conversation forward on single women, their friendships and sex lives.  How did these characters - once so forward-looking - become so outdated?  So out-of-touch with their peers (eg, today's women in their 50's who are closely tuned in)?  Not to mention the bizarre and confounding ignorance/micro aggressions of Miranda.  As if Miranda (of anyone), who cared enough to leave her safe corporate job to study human rights after being moved by current events would (notwithstanding her passion, intelligence and understanding of the historical moment) be so ignorant.  She - like all of us - may have fumbled a little as she educated herself.  But educate herself she would.  Miranda would not have been so utterly ignorant (not to mention self-involved).

It did offer some wonderful moments, most especially from Anthony "She's the Black Charlotte" and "This is a funeral, not the moth."  And it may be that once Carrie starts dating again, we'll get some of the spice and incisiveness this Reboot so desperately needs.  I'll stay tuned (it's my job!) and let you know when the water's warm enough for diving in.

Hook Ups: Meet Kerin Martucci, Vintage Curator & Production Stylist

“Hook Ups” is an ongoing feature introducing our readers to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Humorously explain your job.

I am an archaeologist, of sorts. I hunt and dig for the right vintage style and accessories. When my clients need a custom style or look for a shoot, I find it for them.

For how many years?

Twenty-five plus.

What was super-sexy about the Victorian less-is-more style?

The popular image of the Victorian era is one of a buttoned-up society and polite social manners. The irony is not lost on the fact that the height of the fashion era was known by the hourglass figure! To achieve that hourglass figure, a woman would wear a corset to show off the plunging neckline, decollete, waist and to round out their bottoms—nothing could be sexier!

Why is a woman in a top hat so freaking hot???

To quote Marlene Dietrich: “I’m sincere in my preference for men’s clothes — I do not wear them to be sensational. I think I am much more alluring in these clothes.” It’s the androgynous style that is strong, powerful and bold which I find sexy in both a man and a woman.

Why is sustainable style sexy?

Because it has a story, a history, and not disposable to be thrown out or discarded, it has value. (Not to mention the disposable-style landfill issue…)

What is the one piece of clothing that everyone can incorporate that can make them feel sexier?

Never underestimate the camisole. The tank/half slip that is behind the blazer or under a sweater just slightly peeking out.

I own a 1940’s acetate slip top, which I wear over my bra, under the blazer. Just the hint of lace peeking out…feminine, yet with a strong voice; sexy with her boldness, but soft in her approach to business.

How is hiring a stylist an act of self-love?

The shoot with Julee stands out to me. Julee is an empty nester in her fifties who decided to fulfill a dream to become a lifestyle model. She wasn’t in her twenties nor Size 2. When she called, her request was for three separate looks. Not only did we get her into a pair of jeans (she hasn’t worn them in 20 years—she rocked it!) she felt beautiful, alive and sexy! She called to tell me this week she booked her first job. To achieve one’s dream is a journey of empowerment.

Best way to reach you?

Email: Kerrina@comcast.net
Instagram: @kerinfinds or @kerinmartucci
First consultation free.

Song of the Week.

The humble Little Drummer Boy has always been my favorite holiday song.  It captures my feelings on gifts (more heart, fewer things) and on the gift that is music in particular.  I’ve been listening to this Pentatonix version since it came out in 2013 and it still gives me the chills. Listen here

And for a throwback kick, check out their performance on the Arsenio Hall show.  The audio isn’t as good as the version above, but I heard the Pentatonix version first here.  Remember the Arsenio Hall Show?  Woof, woof, woof!  I thought he was such a cool cat, and I loved settling under the sheets to watch his late night show in the late 90s (when I was in law school and really needed it).  In July this year, Arsenio guest-hosted for Jimmy Kimmel live and it was so fun to see “an old friend” doing his thing. Watch here

Pentatonix "Little Drummer Boy" - Arsenio Hall Show Listen Here

Wishing you all gifts this season as fine as that of the little drummer boy.  "I played my drum for him / Pa rum pum pum pum / I played my best for him / Pa rum pum pum . . . Then he smiled at me / Pa rum pum pum / Me and my drum."

Dish Stanley XO,
Dish

If you love me as much as I love you (and I really do love you!), then please help me grow by forwarding this {love} Letter to a friend!  And I'd love to have you join us on instagram, facebook & twitter.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter curated by Dish Stanley on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?

We Don't Want You To Miss A Thing. Links to The Crush Letter No 40 (in case you were on a sailboat in the middle of the Mediterranean and had no wifi.

+How to Be the Most Charming Person at a Party. By Evie Arnaude Want to be someone who’s invited to all the most sought-after soirées? We have the perfect cheat sheet for you.

+Leave the Husband, Bring the Cannoli. By A.K.A. Darla Snowed in without warning with her ex and his new partner the night before Christmas turned out to be one writer’s Christmas miracle.

+Holiday Perspectives. By Dean Christopher What might our familiar holidays have been under other circumstances? One writer explores the fun and clever reimagining.

+The Holiday Anti-Checklist. Liza Lentini A very different sort of guide that goes inwards and honors what’s really important, because holidays aren’t the same—and neither are you.

+Effortless, Natural Holiday Makeup. By Lauren D. Weinstein If you’re looking to perfect your natural-makeup look, our resident expert has the tips and tricks

+Love/Sex/Moon Magick. Mrs. Eaton’s Mincemeat. By Lynn Eaton Our resident Wiccan shares a decades-old family holiday recipe and recalls the Magick of the never-forgotten family.














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